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Can Bill O’Reilly’s Brand Survive In The Digital Age?

A native of New York City, Bill O’Reilly began his journalism career in small news outlets around the country before moving to Inside Edition. When Fox News launched in 1996, he started his own program called The O’Reilly Factor. Featuring conservative commentary, interviews, and the occasional controversy, it became the most watched cable news program in the country.

Following nearly a decade as a successful news personality and best-selling author, O’Reilly’s show was cancelled in April 2017 after a series of sexual harassment allegations came out against him. An internal investigation at Fox News found even more.

An article from the New York Times exposed how Fox News and its parent company, 21st Century Fox, stood by him even as they reached settlements with five women who had complained about sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior by him.

The total amount paid in agreements? Almost $13 million.

Outrage ensued from advertisers, women’s rights organizations, and even women inside Fox News, which eventually resulted in his resignation.

After losing his television show, O’Reilly has retreated to his own independent website and podcast series. However, it’s impacting his brand and not for the better. The reason?

According to New York Magazine, the median age of O’Reilly’s viewers in 2014 was 72.1. And according to a study from the Pew Research Center, 85 percent of Americans older than 65 get their news from television programs. About 24 percent of Americans who fit that age range get their news from radio or podcasts. O’Reilly has continued reporting, but now his “No Spin News” program can only be found on his website…and the reviews from around the Internet aren’t that great.

If O’Reilly wants to survive in the age of digital media, he needs to take his branding to the next level with a more modern website design and a marketing and social strategy to draw in a younger audience.

(And maybe a not so creepy fashion.)

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